Stocks inch higher on continued bargain hunting

SHARES inched higher on Tuesday on bargain hunting amid a lack of fresh leads and ahead of the release of companies’ second-quarter results.

The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) went up by 17.46 points or 0.27% to close at 6,286.24 on Tuesday, while the broader all shares index increased by 11.30 points or 0.33% to 3,381.36.

“The local bourse closed in the green, up by 17.46 points (+0.27%) to 6,286.24 as investors continue to bargain hunt from last week’s decline. However, during the intraday, the market moves sideways amid a lack of fresh leads,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Analyst Claire T. Alviar said in a Viber message.

Ms. Alviar said investors remained on the sidelines, as seen in the value turnover recorded on Tuesday.

Value turnover declined to P3.793 billion on Tuesday with 1.07 billion shares changing hands from the P4.24 billion with 521.89 million issues seen the previous trading day.

“The Philippine main index finished marginally higher, but volume remained low as investors remain cautious ahead of the earnings season,” Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading Marc Kebinson L. Lood said in a Viber message.

Mr. Lood said the market is also awaiting the US Federal Reserve’s July 26-27 meeting, where it is expected to hike rates further as consumer inflation in the world’s largest economy hit another 40-year high last month.

Some market players are even pricing in a 100-basis-point (bp) rate increase from the Fed next week, bigger than the 75-bp hike made in June.

“The local market may still move sideways for the rest of the week as there is no market moving news as of yet, but investors will be watching closely the first SONA (State of the Nation Address) of President [Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr.], which may set a new trend direction for our index,” he added.

Mr. Marcos is set to deliver his first SONA on July 25, Monday.

The majority of sectoral indices ended in the green on Tuesday except for financials, which went down by 23.44 points or 1.55% to 1,480.89.

Meanwhile, mining and oil went up by 272.18 points or 2.55% to 10,932.83; services went up by 22.38 points or 1.38% to 1,640.04; holding firms climbed by 60.44 points or 1.03% to 5,893.02; industrials increased by 35.95 points or 0.38% to 9,411.27; and property inched up by 7.34 points or 0.25% to end Tuesday’s session at 2,859.82.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 99 versus 77, while 51 names closed unchanged.

Net foreign selling dropped to P227.51 million on Tuesday from the P333.39 million seen the previous trading day.

Mr. Lood placed the PSEi’s support at 5,900 and resistance at 6,700, while Philstocks Financial’s Ms. Alviar put support at the 6,000-6,150 range and resistance at 6,400. — Justine Irish DP. Tabile

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